peanuts and monkeysSo many businesses I speak to want to use social media as it is ‘free’.  This really isn’t the right reason to start using social media!  And, it’s not free!  Do you realise how much your time is worth?!  If you don’t then you need to first work that out, then start logging the time you spend on social media!

It’s also the wrong approach as ‘free’ does not lead to a super-successful business.  Do you really think the super successful entrepreneurs we look up to focused on free forms of marketing in order to build their empires?

Social media savvy companies often have someone inhouse who is working full time on their social media activity.  If we took the salary of this person as being around the £25k/year mark, that activity certainly isn’t free, and they know it!  They track success and analyse how they are getting a return.

Yes, the fact you don’t necessarily have to spend any money on social media is a big advantage.  But when I talk to companies who I know could see a huge return if they used Facebook Ads or who would really benefit from a premium LinkedIn account, and they refuse it because it costs, I find it really frustrating!

Marketing, social media included, should be looked at as an investment rather than a cost.  This means you also need to analyse the return on your investment.  If I kept giving you £10 notes every time you gave me a £1 coin, you wouldn’t stop giving me those coins would you?!

Generally, our business is built through spending some money, to get a lot more money back!  Or spending a lot of money to get a shed load back!!!  There may be times when our marketing doesn’t work, and we spend to receive little return.  But we stop using that form of marketing, or change the way we use it, to make sure we get a return next time.

So, please don’t focus solely on using social media because of its ‘free’ label!  You should have more clearly defined reasons for using it than the cost to your business.  And, at the end of the day, if you spend peanuts on your marketing, you’ll be attracting monkeys.  And you know what they say about working with animals….!!!